Connect January 2018
Will 2018 be a year of mission or just a year of change?
As we begin each year we have a decision to make. Of course Jan 1st is just another day; only a moment from the day before, yet it can have a significance. As we begin 2018, we can decide to continue as we have been in 2017 (and before), or we can decide to step into the new things God may be offering us. Wonderfully the gospel doesn’t just change our destination after death, it gives us power through the Holy Spirit to determine what we are going to lay down and pick up today, the things we are going to stop doing and the ones we are going to begin tomorrow.
New Years were an invention of God (see Rosh Hashanah in Lev. 23 / Num. 29) because He knew that in the natural rhythms of life, it does us good to have moments of looking back and looking forward. Therefore this moment is a gift of mercy from God where we can look back with thankfulness to God and a sober reflection of how we have been doing, and receive forgiveness where necessary. It is also a grace moment where we can choose the path of faith and be blessed as we move into all that God has for us.
So as we are making those choices for ourselves and our families, let’s also do the same for our church family. As BFC looks ahead into 2018, I would like us to see this not merely as a year of transition, but a year of mission. My prayer is that our focus should be our mission and not merely the change in leadership. I want our eyes to be on Alpha (Wed 17th January) and personal evangelism, of reaching the community and of lifting the poor out of their poverty…not just how the eldership change will affect me.
Even Louise and I (and our family) are looking for a year of mission not just change. By Dec 2018, I want to be celebrating new fruit and new mission moments, not just a new house, new schools and a new role. We aren’t moving for change sake but because God and the apostolic teams have said there is another mission field for us. So as we say a sad goodbye to one church and one community, we do it in faith that God’s kingdom will grow quicker and extend further than if we stayed where we were.
When we met recently with the Commission leaders, two key words were given…
1. You are to move from influence to infiltration.
We have a great influence in the community, now God is calling us to be fully in that community. Infiltrate the groups that meet and bring God’s blessing, grace and gospel wherever you go.
2. You are standing on the edge of the Promised Land, about to receive your inheritance.
Hearing those words excite me, because I want BFC to grow in my absence. However words like this aren’t about what is guaranteed, but rather what is available. Don’t presume of God by saying “Give me blessing regardless of my acts”. Rather lean on Him, on words like this and step out in them. One generation of Israelites grumbled for 40 years and lost their inheritance, the other stepped into the Jordan in faith and saw great victories. Which will you be?